fast, inexpensive, and constructive conflict resolution.
It is generally the most
more efficient approach to finding a resolution to a conflict.
Parties are motivated to use mediation because it can get them
back to the business of doing their business the fastest, the
safest, and with the least cost. Options such as adversarial
arbitration and litigation are most costly in terms of time,
risk, and money. These non-collaborative options tend
to deflect substantial resources away from the mission of the
enterprise. It is simply good business to try to resolve
conflicts with mediation as a first resort, before possibly
escalating to more costly methods.
is not Capitulation: It just makes good sense.
A proposal to mediate does
not necessarily indicate a weak case or a shallow resolve.
Mediation leaves open possible use of ajudication later, whereas
other forms of conflict resolution can be quite final and leave
appeals extremely difficult. Mediation is often introduced after
a suit has already begun at court. The looming costs of
court battles tends to make parties look closer at the cost/benefit
aspects of mediation. Mediation can be used at any point
before a decision has been rendered onto the parties by a panel
or arbitrators, a judge, or a jury. In fact, statistics
show that anywhere from 80% to 95% of suits brought to court
are settled before a decision is made by a tribunal or a court.
Mediated settlements have
a much higher compliance rate than with adjudicated settlements.
As the parties design and compose the settlement themselves,
they take ownership in the outcome. They are not told
what to do by a judge or jury: it's their process and outcome.
The parties co-author the settlement. This way their self
interests are reflected and respected in the agreement and the
outcome. In litigation and arbitration parties give up
their right to autonomy and sovereign self determination: those
rights are abrogated onto an authority to tell them what the
outcome will be.
the parties actually control their destiny.
With mediation the parties
do not depend on counsel, arbitrators, judges, or a jury for
what will happen. The parties may personally control the
outcome of a mediation directly. That outcome is naturally
keyed to their personal self-interest, rather than what a third
party's imagination of what that outcome should be. We
recommend parties mediate cases of any substance or import with
knowledgeable counsel to preserve and protect all of their legal
In today's business environment,
keys to survival and growth of an enterprise are to maximize
productivity, to minimize costs, and especially to maximize
relationships. When dealing with conflict situations,
both external and internal, mediation is clearly the best choice
against these criteria.
it work if it's voluntary?
Parties who have not experienced
mediation are often dubious about the potential of successfully
applying this collaborative process to their particular conflict(s).
A conflict is, by definition, a situation where a solution to
the problem has not yet been found, and alternatives are in
competition. The mediation process helps focus parties
on resolving issues rather than advocating for positions.
Mediation succeeds often when neither party imagined any basis
for agreement. When participants experience how they can
break through what they viewed as an impasse, they understand
the effectiveness of mediation. They "get it"
and understand why people have been mediating conflicts
all around the world for thousands of years.
We offer a Conflict Resolution Method Comparison chart on our FAQ
page. It provides a side by side, aspect
by aspect comparison of Mediation with the two other leading
types of conflict resolution approaches, Arbitration and Litigation.